Last week, the California State Assembly voted 78-0 to ban police gangs in every law enforcement agency in California. The bill now heads to Governor Gavin Newsoms desk for signature.
The bill, AB 958, was introduced by Assemblyman Mike Gipson (D-Carson) back in February. On Sept. 3, it passed the Senate floor in a 37-0 vote.
According to the Bill, it would define a law enforcement gang, a group of law enforcement officers within an agency that engages in a pattern of specified unlawful or unethical on-duty behavior, and would require law enforcement agencies to have a policy prohibiting law enforcement gangs and making participation, as specified, in a law enforcement gang grounds for termination. The bill would require an agency to disclose an officer’s termination for involvement in a law enforcement gang to another law enforcement agency conducting a preemployment background investigation of that officer, as specified.
Back in July, Gipson stated that based on a Loyola Report, nearly 50 years of activity among 18-different police gangs was discovered in Los Angeles County.
“These are groups who celebrate excessive force, resist reforms, and discriminate and retaliate against other officers,” said Assemblymemebr Gipson. “How can we expect an officer to uphold the public safety of our communities when that officer is pressured within their own department to join a police gang,”
“This behavior is not behind all officer misconduct, but it is a critical area to reform police culture within a department,” said Gipson. “AB 958 will put forth reform that has been needed for decades, to get rid of pervasive culture of those who abuse their power when they should be finding better ways to protect our communities.”
The bill would apply to every law enforcement agency in the State of California.
For more on the Bill, click here.